#WhyIPMC guest blog by Theresa Welsh, 9-year Living Proof rider, Team Kinetic Karma
Oddly enough, it was a stroke in 2002, when I was only 39, that initially set me on my path to see cancer cured. When I was in rehab, learning to walk again, one of my closest friends came to visit me almost daily. The joy and laughter that Mike brought my days played a key role in my optimism and success towards walking again. When he passed away several years later from cancer, I turned my sadness into determination. I bought my first adult bike, joined Team Kinetic Karma, started PMCing and have never looked back. My wonderful PMC team, and the larger PMC community, made me feel empowered to raise my fist at cancer.
And then, in 2016, I received a cancer diagnosis, and found myself (thankfully) at Dana-Farber. But I wasn’t willing to back down to cancer, as I had witnessed first hand the resilience on my own team, and across the miles of the PMC - which gave me tremendous strength through my surgeries and recovery. Because of advances in cancer research, I was able to cycle in the 2016 PMC, and got back into a boat for USRowing Masters Nationals. Most importantly, I proudly witnessed my son graduating from college, and then becoming a member of the US Army. I take nothing for granted. Every ride, every regatta, every family or friend interaction, is a cherished moment in my life. I draw incredible strength from my friends and family, as their belief in me is unfailing. As a PMC Living Proof rider, my mission is to return the favor to anyone needing someone to believe in them, and to see cancer cured in my lifetime. All things are possible, if we believe.